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Got questions on composing, editing and proofreading your writings? Ask away! (1 Viewer)

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leinad

Member
When writing a how-to article or any kind of writings, how should one compose the most riveting opening sentence?
 

garza

Senior Member
For broadcast news writing the opening sentence should be active voice, no more than 20 words, and make a clear statement about the content of the item. For example:

Belize City Police today arrested 24-year-old Joe Jones and charged him with murder.

The opening sentence in a broadcast news item serves as the headline for the item. The words 'police', 'arrested', and 'murder' will penetrate even if the listener is distracted by what's going on around him.

The Ministry of Agriculture today announced a new policy promoting small-scale entrepreneurship in an effort to alleviate rural poverty.

Here the words 'agriculture', 'rural', and 'poverty' will penetrate if the listener has any interest in farming or rural development. If he is not interested in those things, no attempt at a clever intro will cause him to become interested.
 

The Backward OX

WF Veterans
The very first thing one should do, before all else, is ensure that the subject heading and the text agree and that they do not send a confusing message to the reader.
 

garza

Senior Member
Ox - You didn't vote. I am a strong believer in the democratic process, and the question before the House today is one that can be of vital importance for generations to come.
 

garza

Senior Member
Madam Speaker, please remind the visitors in the gallery that they are to remain quiet and not disrupt the proceedings of this honourable House.
 

mwd

Senior Member
The most riveting opening sentence always involves zombies with chainsaws, in my experience.
 

BoredMormon

Senior Member
How-to's don't rely so much on riveting opening sentances. They rely on the reader wanting to know 'how-to'. In fact riviting opening sentances can be a weakness in a manual.
 

leinad

Member
How-to's don't rely so much on riveting opening sentances. They rely on the reader wanting to know 'how-to'. In fact riviting opening sentances can be a weakness in a manual.

Agreed, BoredMorman, but what I meant was not for a 'how-to' manual, but questions from writers beginning with "how To..."
 

leinad

Member
Absolutely Backward Ox. Nothing is more irritating than confusing and contradictory statements. Personally, I just toss out the writings if I can.
 

leinad

Member
Garza, excellent and helpful advice. Your examples are very succinct and educational, and can certainly be incorporated into all kinds of writings, not just broadcast journalism.
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For broadcast news writing the opening sentence should be active voice, no more than 20 words, and make a clear statement about the content of the item. For example:

Belize City Police today arrested 24-year-old Joe Jones and charged him with murder.

The opening sentence in a broadcast news item serves as the headline for the item. The words 'police', 'arrested', and 'murder' will penetrate even if the listener is distracted by what's going on around him.

The Ministry of Agriculture today announced a new policy promoting small-scale entrepreneurship in an effort to alleviate rural poverty.

Here the words 'agriculture', 'rural', and 'poverty' will penetrate if the listener has any interest in farming or rural development. If he is not interested in those things, no attempt at a clever intro will cause him to become interested.
 
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